My best friend and I are currently making our way through a five year journal. Neither one of us are ones to write down each and every moment from the days we experience, but we’re both drawn to documenting our lives in some way. This journal has been awesome so far, plus it’s a way to stay connected to my bestie who lives in another state. It’s a win-win!
Although I may not be drawn to writing in a journal, I do take pictures. I take pictures on vacation. I take pictures while I’m at home. I take pictures to document my life as a professional, and I take others to document my life as…me. :) A picture can bring me back to the moment it was taken. I can remember where I was and how I felt as the flash went off. My photos serve as their own time capsule.
My problem is I don’t print my pictures. It’s a terrible habit, and one I constantly have as part of a mental to-do list to finally solve. But, it’s a simple task that always gets tossed aside. Until this past weekend.
As a creative, it’s not a surprise that Instagram is my favorite medium on social media. If I’m sharing a snippet of my life, I’m likely going to write a completely happy caption if the moment deserves it (most do!). But I’m also equally as likely to pair a photo with a caption about a lesson I’ve learned or a battle I’m still fighting my way through. My photos may look like a highlight reel, and in many ways they are. But, I want to have a highlight reel of positivity for myself, and hopefully to serve others, that focuses on the moments that feel like magic.
I’ve heard so. many. people talk about Chatbooks online, so I decided to try it out during The Blizzard of 2016. Over two afternoons, I carefully looked through all of my pictures on Instagram, said, “I remember that!” far too many times, and saved my favorites as I went. Each book can hold as few as 30 photos (I really liked the option of having more concise books rather than one large book), so…I made 9 books. I already have a folder on my desktop housing the pictures for my 10th book! Again, just like racing a storm, call me crazy.
As I looked through all of my photos, I realized that life is magic (corny? maybe…). I was reminded of my first Phillies game with my best friend and the day I braved flying for the first time by myself in 5+ years two days after being in a terrible car accident. I was reminded of professional goals that turned into reality (bridal market, coordinating a wedding, working with awesome clients), trips that I took with my family, and moments, like the one above, that were filled with pure joy. I saw photos of my Nana I forgot I had posted, as well as places I will always be able to remember even when my life changes course.
I decided to call my book series Life is Magic because as I looked through all of my photos, I forgot about the anxiety that may have been weighing on my heart when the moment was captured. I remembered battles I fought and won (and some that are on going), and I remembered the joy that I experienced in each place. I paused more than once to wish that I could revisit a moment as it happened all over again. I felt grateful as I worked my way through my photo project that I choose to experience things and document them the way that I did and continue to do.
My Instagram feed is a highlight reel in many ways. But it’s also a time capsule of memories that are great and those marked with battle wounds (even if you can’t see them on their pretty exterior). Either way, my reel serves as a wonderful reminder to live life loud…because it’s magic whether it feels that way in the moment or not. Print your pictures and revisit those moments. I hope they make you grateful for where you’ve been and excited for all that’s still to come. xo